A Blind Fan at a WTA Tennis Tournament – Livesport Prague Open 2022
A joint initiative of Radiožurnál and the Czech Radio Foundation titled “Nevidomý fanoušek” (A Blind Fan) was again a part of a major sports event of this year. This time, we invited visually impaired people to a WTA tennis tournament – Livesport Prague Open 2022 held in July in TK Sparta Praha in Stromovka, Prague.
The visually impaired fans and their guides were offered an extraordinary experience right at the first match of the tournament, when Czech player Marie Bouzková, who eventually became the winner of the whole tournament, faced Sinja Kraus from Austria at the central court. On site, the match was being described and commented by Radiožurnál sports editor Martin Charvát.
“Each experience is an opportunity to learn something new. This time, it was a special commentary for the tennis fans that we have invited for the Monday match of Livesport Prague Open 2022. Although we commented on tennis for the second time, now they had the possibility to sit at the first row of the grandstand at the court. And they were excited as they could perceive the intensive sounds of the “silent sport” – whooshing of the ball, impacts on the hard court and racket strikes and – at the same time – the commentary by Martin Charvát, who was also adding information for those who do not know that much about tennis, explaining the course of the game and the behaviour of the players on the court. I believe it was an unforgettable experience,” says Gabriela Drastichová, Director of the Czech Radio Foundation.
After the match, the fans had the chance to meet and chat with two-times Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitová, who gave them signed tennis balls.
The Blind Fan initiative has long made it possible for people with severe visual impairment to get familiar with sports and cultural activities such as sports matches, concerts or theatre performances.